Is Fellatio Finished? Spoiler Alert: No

Do you feel "powerless" while giving head?

Apr 10, 2012 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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I know, here I go with the bananas again.

I don't even know where to start here. I feel a bit like weary, sex positive superhero who must go out and fight another day with soiled, fraying (and of course, cleavage-baring) cape.

I don't want to fight with you, Ms. Magazine. You're an institution. You've got Gloria! But I must take issue, loudly, with this particular article, from your blog, entitled "Is Fellatio Finished?"

Spoiler alert: NO. No it is not.

Humans putting their mouths on each other is never going to go out of fashion until the end of time.  As long as there are sticky orifices for us to tongue, we will do so. And I, for one, think civilization is better off for it.

But that's not even the bad part! The Ms. Article is responding to an Esquire pieice entitled "Death of the Blowjob," which speculates that men today would rather give cunnilingus than get a blowjob, based on the fact that 8 of the author's friends said so. Spurious, yes, but not offensive.

But the Ms. blogger takes it a step further, by hypothesizing that the reason men are less into fellatio these days is that we women have started to like it too darn much.

The crux of his argument is that traditionally, for heterosexual men, both giving and receiving oral sex has been an expression of power, while heterosexual women have experienced both giving and receiving from the position of powerlessness.

"What happens to men’s experience when (a) women want some reciprocity, and, even more, (b) they actually want to perform oral sex, actually get off on it? In that traditional masculine phenomenology, could there be anything more detumescent than women’s active desire for oral sex? ... If women actively like it, where’s the victory? Where’s the conquest?"

Sheerly from personal experience (and my sample size is quite a bit larger than 8), I can tell you that enthusiasm for oral sex is anything but "detumescent." I mean, just consider this sentence: Women who like oral sex turn men off. Savor it, roll it around in your mouth and sample its strange flavor. Does it strike you as in any way true?

I obviously think a lot about gender issues and the ways in which they are social constructs. And I try to avoid sweeping generalizations about what men like or what women like, because sex is weird and oozy and doesn't like to be contained in little boxes.

But when it comes to sex I'm a truther. I live, breath and fuck in the real world, and I try to stay attuned to its realities, to value real expereinces over political idelogies. So with any statement about sexuality, I try to give it a good long sniff and see if it holds up.

And this one doesn't smell right to me. Even after I went ahead and skipped over the parts about how men seek to humiliate and punish women by ejaculating on their faces.

I don't think that mankind as a whole is threatened by women's sexual agency and enthusiastic consent, especially not to the point where they're swearing off blowjobs.

And I definitely don't think that oral sex is traditionally powerful for men and powerless for women, as the Ms. Blogger postulaes. Have I ever felt powerless while holding someone's most intimate parts preciously close to the same calcified structures I use to slice red meat? Have I felt powerless watching his legs turn to jelly and his face go stupid? How about while squeezing his head in my thighs and using his hair as a handle to force him deeper between my legs? Those things make me feel powerful, righteously so.

Of course I'm one of these modern, fellatio-loving women that are taking all the fun out of oral sex. But it seems to me that the more women have been disenfranchised, the more powerful their sexuality has been. The power of female sexuality in sexist societies has exerted itself all throughout history. Look at Anne Boleyn.

Even if it were true that women traditionally engaged in cunnilingus and fellatio because “it makes him happy” to receive oral sex and to perform it, isn't there power in providing pleasure?

Sex, and my sexuality, were the first source of power I discovered. As a young Sourthern Bapist girl in sexist, racist, homophobic Oklahoma, I felt the click of control when my the work crews at my father's landscaping job whistled and hollered at me in Spanish as I walked by.

Later, I realized that there was no easier person to manipulate than a man with a boner. That as long as I had that something he wanted, that something I could give, I held more cards than I had ever thought possible.

That's a key piece of why I struggled with sex addiction for so long. The power, the heady rush of desirability, the ability to bring men to their knees and make them beg, are addictive.

No, during sex, I feel powerful as hell. It's after sex, when I have to return to the real world, that I can see that type of power is a jerry-rigged solution for my lack of true weight in the world.

Which isn't to say that sexual power isn't real or valuable or that I want to give it away. Just that I'd like to add some other kinds of power as well, kinds that might make some kinds of  men feel a lot more threatened than an increased love for blowjobs.

And I know that there are plenty of other kinds of men out there who would welcome that just as heartily as an enthusiastic blowjob.

@msemilymccombs is giving out free BJs on Twitter.